October 12, 2015

Pumpkin Praline Meringue Tart


Do I have a story of woes for you today.
I find that it's never a true holiday if something doesn't go wrong. Does anybody else find that? Like, Christmas can't be complete if the tree doesn't fall over, or Thanksgiving can't be right if you don't burn the turkey! Today's victim was not the turkey.

Here I am, as usual, about to snap some photographs; the light reflector placed strategically , and the backdrop leaning against the chair. When I go to adjust the light reflector, it starts to tip. Luckily I caught it, but out of the corner of my eye- SQUASH! The backdrop landed straight on top of my tart.
I'm not going to lie. There were a few tears. The worst thing was, before that happened, I had only taken one measly photo.


Pumpkin Praline Meringue Tart
 
Crust

Makes enough for two 9" tarts
 

1 cup                vegetable shortening
1/4 cup             butter
1/2 tsp              salt
3 cups              cake & pastry flour
1/4 cup            cold water


In a medium bowl combine the shortening and butter. Beat until smooth. Add the salt and flour. With a pastry cutter, combine until clumped together. Add the cold water and combine. 
Divide the dough into two balls. Wrap one with plastic wrap and save for another time. Place plastic wrap on the counter and place one of the balls of dough on top. Place another piece of plastic wrap on top of that. Now, roll it out to be 1/4 " thick (with this method you can easily pick the dough up and not have to use flour). Transfer the dough into your tart shell(s). Trim excess dough. Now prepare the praline.


Praline

1/3 cup               chopped pecans
1/3 cup               brown sugar
2 tbsp                 butter, softened

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl combine all ingredients. Sprinkle into the bottom of the unbaked tart shell(s). Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.  Remove partially baked crust from the oven and reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Set aside.

Filling

2 eggs
1 cup                   pumpkin puree
2/3 cup                brown sugar
1 tbsp                  a.p flour
1/4 tsp                 ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp                 ground mace
1/2 tsp                 cinnamon
1/2 tsp                 ground ginger
1/2 tsp                 salt
1 cup                   heavy cream

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and whisk to combine until smooth and creamy. Pour into partially baked shells. Place into the oven that has been reduced to 350 degrees. Bake for 40 minutes or until the filling is set. Remove from oven and let cool.

Meringue

3 egg whites
3/4 cup                 sugar
3/4 tsp                  salt

In a medium saucepan add 1" of water. Place on low heat and allow it to simmer. In a medium heatproof bowl, add the egg whites, sugar and salt. With an electric mixer, beat until slightly foamy. Place the bowl on top of the saucepan with simmering water. Over the heat, beat the egg white mixture until it forms stiff peaks.  Take off the heat and beat it until cool. Transfer the cooled meringue into a pastry bag with a star piping tip.
Pipe the meringue in any pattern onto your cooled tart. Enjoy!


Let's just say, this event of horrors was not in my Thanksgiving schedule for today.
This tart is super easy, and is such a tasty treat. A perfect tart to share with others!
I hope you fellow Canadians had a fabulous long weekend, and to all you non-canadians, i hope you had a great normal length weekend!

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